Chennai

Disability not a barrier for this Chennai resident to spread awareness about COVID-19

Mr. Perumal on his two-wheeler in Chennai

Mr. Perumal on his two-wheeler in Chennai   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Disability is not a barrier for helping others – this is what motivates 51-year-old P.K. Perumal, who has an 80% disability, to ride around North Chennai every day on his modified bike, playing recorded announcements to create awareness about COVID-19.

A resident of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) quarters in Kailasam Street, Tondiarpet, Mr. Perumal is a tailor. Every morning he leaves his house at 9 a.m, wearing a mask, gloves and glasses, and rides through different areas in North Chennai till 3 p.m. A placard on his bike reads ‘COVID-19 awareness campaign’. He has fitted a public address system on his two-wheeler for the announcements.

“I have been doing this since March. I see many people donating food and dry rations. But I cannot afford it. Hence, to serve the society, I decided to spread awareness about COVID-19 and help prevent people from contracting the infection,” says Mr. Perumal. He took permission from Tondiarpet police station and they gave him the audio clip to be played. He also downloaded some awareness songs from the internet.

“I advised him not to do this considering his safety. But he was adamant about doing his bit for society. Till date he has not even claimed petrol money,” said V. Deivendran, law and order inspector, Tondiarpet.

Mr. Perumal says that he fills petrol for ₹100 in his vehicle every day. “I stitch a few blouses, and that money I use for petrol. My family is also very supportive,” he adds.

But what keeps him motivated? “The public appreciates me for the work I am doing. My disability is not a barrier to do good work,” he explains.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 9:14:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/disability-not-a-barrier-for-this-chennai-resident-to-spread-awareness-about-covid-19/article31969588.ece

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